HARVARD LAW SCHOOL CLASS OF 2014
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
Clinical and Pro Bono Programs LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD IN HOUSE CLINICS Criminal Justice Institute Cyberlaw Clinic Education Law Clinic Emmett Environmental Law and Policy Clinic Food Law and Policy Clinic Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinic Harvard Legal Aid Bureau Harvard Negotiation and Mediation Clinic Health Law and Policy Clinic
“Through the Harvard Law School Clinical and Pro Bono Programs, students provide high-quality , free legal services to thousands of people each year and innovate law reform efforts in the United States and around the globe. Working alongside gifted and creative Clinical Professors, Instructors, and lawyers in legal institutions around the world, students find the extraordinary rewards of serving others while gaining invaluable learning experiences and advancing justice and fairness. Part laboratory, part teaching hospital, our clinics and pro bono programs reflect commitment to public service that animates this school”
- Dean Martha Minow
“One of the best aspects of Harvard Law School is working with the remarkable energy, creativity, and dynamism of our students. They come to HLS with a wide range of backgrounds and a wealth of experiences from which our Clinics and our clients benefit and grow. Our Clinical Program is never static—we are constantly reinventing ourselves in response to client needs, student interests, and national and international issues. As we advise and mentor individual students on their path to becoming ethical lawyers, the students, in turn, teach us to look at legal problems with a fresh set of eyes each and every day. This constant sense of wonder permeates our Clinical Programs and invigorates the learning process”
- Lisa Dealy Assistant Dean Clinical and Pro Bono Programs
International Human Rights Clinic Shareholder Rights Clinic Transactional Law Clinics WilmerHale Legal Services Center Family and Domestic Violence Law Clinic Predatory Lending/Consumer Protection Clinic Post-Foreclosure Eviction Defense/Housing Law Clinic Veterans Law and Disability Benefits Clinic
EXTERNSHIP CLINICS Capital Punishment Clinic Child Advocacy Clinic Criminal Prosecution Clinic Employment Law Clinic Government Lawyer: State Attorney General Clinic Government Lawyer: United States Attorney Clinic Government Lawyer: Semester in Washington D.C. Clinic Judicial Process in Community Courts Clinic Sports Law Clinic Supreme Court Litigation Clinic
Clinical and Pro Bono Programs LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD Dear Graduates, Faculty, Staff, Family and Friends,
STUDENT PRACTICE ORGANIZATIONS
The Office of Clinical and Pro Bono Programs at Harvard Law School offers its heartfelt congratulations to the Class of 2014. These students will be joining a distinguished group of alumni and will soon be making their own mark on the legal profession. We wish them well as they embark on exciting new careers!
Graduation brings a time of transition from the world of academia to the world of practice. Through their participation in clinical programs, student practice organizations, and pro bono opportunities, these students have already embarked on their careers as advocates and representatives for their clients under the guidance and supervision of licensed attorneys. Students in the Class of 2014 worked hard averaging 582 hours of legal pro bono work each. In this newsletter, you will find their stories, reflections, and lessons they have learned through their clinical practice.
Harvard Mississippi Delta Project
Harvard Immigration Project Harvard Law Entrepreneurship Project Harvard Mediation Program
Harvard Negotiators Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project HLS Advocates for Human Rights Project No One Leaves Recording Artists Project Tenant Advocacy Project
We hope that their time spent engaged in pro bono service will better prepare them for the professional challenges that lie ahead. We also hope that through their engagement with Harvard Law Schoolâ€™s clinical and pro bono opportunities that they will go forward into practice with a lifelong commitment to pro bono service. Good luck Class of 2014!
76% of the Class of 2014 participated in at least one clinic.
More than 50 13 Clinical Faculty Clinical Courses More than 60 Clinical Instructors, Clinical Fellows & Staff
950 Student Clinical Placements 16 In-House Clinics 10 Externship Clinics 11 SPOs
Class of 2014 341,951 Pro Bono Hours Completed
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS
HARVARD LEGAL AID BUREAU
Winning an Injunction Against Freddie Mac On December 10, 2013 HLAB student Nicole Summers, J.D. ’14 argued a preliminary injunction in the U.S. District Court to prevent the eviction of Mr. and Mrs. Suero and their three children and halt the sale of their home. Citing a 2012 Massachusetts law - which made it illegal for any lender to place limitations on selling homes back to foreclosed homeowners - Nicole successfully prevented the eviction of the Sueros and sale of their family home. The law was intended to help homeowners repurchase their homes after foreclosure. Nicole wrote about her case in an earlier blog post. “I am encouraged and hopeful that the judge’s decision will lead to meaningful enforcement of this important law. It was exciting and challenging to argue in federal court, and it was a wonderful experience to do so on behalf of the Sueros, who have fought so hard to remain in their home and rebound from the foreclosure crisis,” she said.
“To date, [Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac] have not complied with this provision, which has unfortunately impeded the ability of buyback programs to maximize the number of borrowers they can assist, which in turn has hindered the broader goals of neighborhood stabilization and revitalization,” AG Coakley said. “Our office is considering all available legal avenues, including litigation, to ensure compliance with Massachusetts law, should FHFA fail to promptly amend its policies to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to participate in credible buyback programs.” Nicole's case is the first case in Massachusetts to obtain an injunction against Freddie Mac on the basis of their refusal to comply with the 2012 Massachusetts law.
The battle, however, continues as Freddie Mac has refused to sell the home to a non -profit, which would sell the home back to the Suero family. Earlier this month, the Nicole Summers, J.D. ’14 Boston Globe ran a story 'Can Freddie Mac skirt Mass. consumer law?' It explains this contradiction in the law and how it has affected the Suero family. In a press release issued a day later, State Attorney General, Martha Coakley – citing Nicole’s case – urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to use the buyback programs to help homeowners. In a letter to FHFA, she states that the prohibition on selling the homes back to the homeowners is in direct conflict with the 2012 Massachusetts law.
Mr. and Mrs. Suero are active members of a local anti foreclosure and anti-displacement organization, City Life Vida Urbana, as well as Local 26 Unite HERE. Both groups have been instrumental in mobilizing residents to protest Freddie Mac's refusal to sell homes back to former owners after foreclosure. Nicole and others at HLAB have worked closely with the movement throughout the case and will continue to do so in the coming months with the goal of effecting policy change at Freddie Mac. Nicole contributed to writing this story.
The Harvard Legal Aid Bureau is the oldest student-run legal services organization in the country. This year, it celebrated its 100th Anniversary of providing free legal aid to the poor. Bureau alumni include Michelle Obama ’88; former Bureau President Deval Patrick ’82, the Governor of Massachusetts; and the U.S. Supreme Court Justice William Brennan ’31. The Bureau is unique among HLS Clinics in that it is entirely student-run. Its students make a two year commitment to work 20 hours a week. They assist clients with family law, government benefits, wage and hour law, and housing matters.
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
VIA THE HARVARD NEGOTIATION AND MEDIATION CLINICAL PROGRAM
Student Works with the Peruvian Ministry of the Economy By Daniel Holman, J.D. ’14 My interest in the Harvard Negotiation Workshop and Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program (HNMCP) began before I even enrolled in law school, when Professor Bordone led a negotiation exercise during Admitted Students Weekend. Speaking with students from the Harvard Negotiation Law Review afterward, I was struck by how the negotiation curriculum had helped them develop a skill set that could be carried beyond school in a very direct way. Having worked with non-profits in Latin America before law school, I envisioned becoming a lawyer whose work was mostly outside the courtroom— helping communities to resolve conflicts and helping clients to structure deals and turn ideas into enduring institutions. The mix of hard skills and strategic thinking that is part of the negotiation curriculum has offered a window into unforeseen ways that a legal education can be applied in these areas.
Here at HLS, I have repeatedly seen negotiation themes connected with my work with the Harvard Law and International Development Society, whether in the realm of regional agricultural trade harmonization or the ways in which prosecutors pursue cases of official and corporate corruption. In the professional sphere, one of the key points drawing me to work last summer at Allen & Overy in Washington, DC, was the firm’s work with government and multilateral lenders that play an increasingly crucial role in major development projects around the world. Undertaken at the crossroads of the commercial and public spheres, these infrastructure investment projects must satisfy both public and private interests. Even if the contract documents are in perfect order, the project can run into trouble unless counsel and clients are attuned to these risks.
Equipped with a dispute resolution mindset, one can begin to see how success of these endeavors depends on a series of My HNMCP project with the layered, interdependent negotiations— Peruvian Ministry of the Economy in between the governments and private parthe spring of 2013 presented a ties, between the government and the citiperfect match between my legal and zens that will be affected, and even extracurricular interests. Like many between different agencies or provinces, all of its neighbors, Peru participates in of whom have distinct interests at stake investment protection treaties as a and may have radically different power at way to attract investors and boost the negotiating table. Finding novel and economic growth, but with the consequence Daniel Holman, J.D. ’14 constructive ways to enlarge the role that civil that the government must society, the press, and social defend periodically its The Harvard Negotiation & Mediation Clinical Program movements can play in public regulatory decisions before represents the next generation of dispute resolution practice decision making is particularly treaty tribunals. Because and pedagogy. Under the direction of Clinical Professor of Law critical to ensuring that citizen different government agen- Robert Bordone ’97, it is the only law school clinic with a voices are represented in these cies, private entities, and primary focus on the leading-edge field of Dispute System conversations. foreign governments may all Design, in which students learn to design conflict resolution have a stake in these proCollectively, the negotiation ceedings, investment treaty systems tailored to meet the needs of each client and courses I have taken at HLS—the litigation presents complex situation. Negotiation Workshop, Dispute challenges for government Systems Design, HNMCP, and lawyers. Interviewing stakeholders in Peru with my clinic most recently the new Lawyer as Facilitator Workshop— partner Mark Johnson, J.D. ’14 helped us to understand how have encouraged me to think critically about the role that I as the different players viewed the system and how dispute an attorney can play in identifying and solving problems that resolution techniques might at times be employed to ease the arise when many parties have to agree. I look forward to process. applying what I’ve learned from HNMCP as an advocate, intermediary, and counsel throughout my career. My hope is to remain involved in these issues through graduation and beyond.
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS
CRIMINAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE
From Arraignments to the Supreme Judicial Court: A Year at Harvard’s Criminal Justice Institute By Jeanne Segil, J.D. ’14 When I walked through security at the courthouse for our last mock trial as part of the Trial Advocacy Workshop, the security guard looked at my trial partner and I (we are often confused for being younger than our actual ages) and he said, “someday you will be real lawyers.” I smiled to myself as I doubted that he knew that one week later we would be at arraignments in district court in Massachusetts, representing our very own clients as student attorneys.
more justice.” And that is one of my takeaways from this year at CJI—while the problems within the criminal justice system are complex and overwhelming, some of the solutions are beautiful and simple. Our clients are capable of achieving great things in their lives; we need to start viewing people in a way that recognizes their humanity and enables them to reach their potential.
These views brought me from trial court all the way to an oral My experience at CJI has argument with a single Justice at been a rollercoaster of the SJC, the first time a CJI student emotions—it can be hearthas argued at the SJC in 15 years. breaking to navigate our The issue being heard regarded the way through a broken crimauthority of the trial court to allow inal justice system with our pretrial diversion for a first-time clients depending on us to OUI offense. Pretrial diversion fight for just outcomes. I would allow my client to complete have one client who was an educational program and not seventeen at the time he have a criminal record. My client allegedly committed an ofgraduated high school with honors fense and the Massachusetts while working to support his legislature unanimously family, received an academic scholpassed a bill to raise the age arship to attend college, and has of juvenile jurisdiction to made the Dean’s List at college. He include seventeen-yearis a unique and wonderful young olds. His alleged offense man who deserves a second chance. occurred shortly before the I am still awaiting the results of this passage of the bill, thus we worked tirelessly Jeanne Segil, J.D. ’14 case but it was a truly remarkable experience to be to argue that the bill should be applied heard in that courtroom and have an SJC Justice retroactively. Another case devote time to learning about my raising the same issue was “And amidst these ups and downs, I feel so grateful client, his amazing achievements ultimately heard in the in the past, and his potential to for the constant support within CJI. We have incrediMassachusetts Supreme make a positive difference in this Judicial Court (SJC), ble supervising attorneys who are always there for world. That experience reminded where the SJC held that it me to be hopeful that our system us and ensure that we never feel alone. And we was not retroactive. can change for the better.
have each other, my colleagues at CJI who will drop whatever they are doing to deliver a subpoena, go on an investigation, and do whatever it takes to help another CJI student. “
While I understood that the Commonwealth had valid legal arguments regarding retroactivity, I couldn’t help but wonder, why make those arguments? Why oppose having seventeen-year-olds in the more lenient juvenile justice system when the Massachusetts legislature unanimously believes they belong there? We confronted this same unquestioning stance every day in court. We heard our clients’ stories, we understood their situations, and we became disillusioned when nobody else seemed to take that time. During those moments, I remembered words by Bryan Stevenson, the Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, who said we need “more hope, more forgiveness,
And amidst these ups and downs, I feel so grateful for the constant support within CJI. We have incredible supervising attorneys who are always there for us and ensure that we never feel alone. And we have each other, my colleagues at CJI who will drop whatever they are doing to deliver a subpoena, go on an investigation, and do whatever it takes to help another CJI student. We share in each other’s victories and comfort one another in hard times. It is through getting to know my CJI colleagues, our supervising attorneys and staff, and our tremendous and resilient clients, that I have faith that we can slowly move mountains and make changes in our criminal justice system.
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
PROJECT NO ONE LEAVES
My time with Project No One Leaves redoubled my commitment to working in the public interest... By Matt Nickell, J.D. ’14 I started going to Project No One Leaves’ Saturday morning canvasses in my first year of law school. Project No One Leave (PNOL) stood out to me when I got to HLS because it was one of the only organizations on campus that got law students out of Cambridge and into Boston communities to do housing justice work. Project No One Leaves was started by HLS students at the start of the economic crash in 2008 to connect people facing foreclosure with legal resources and community groups that could help them defend against foreclosure and eviction. Canvassing with PNOL was a great way to see and enrich my understanding of Boston’s geography, history, and culture. More important, it gave me the opportunity to work side-by-side with community organizers, homeowners, and tenants as part of a broader movement resisting the forces that perpetuate poverty, inequality, and segregation.
organization’s gears moving these past two years; our Conference Director David Curtis, who helped organize and run our conference this spring; and our Canvassing Director Donna Harati, who mapped out and planned many of our canvasses this past year.
The people I met during PNOL’s weekly canvasses have been equally inspirational. Almost every homeowner and tenant who answered my knock at the door was extremely kind and courteous, but many had sad stories to tell that could move anyone to tears. Homeowners had been preyed on by banks that exploited their vulnerability, tenants did not know whom to contact about needed property repairs and health code violations, and many had recently lost jobs, health insurance, or family members. Fortunately, many of the people I met became active advocates for My time with PNOL these past change themselves, attending City three years has been tremendously Life meetings and speaking out eventful. A pivotal experience was against the predatory practices that attending my first meeting at City devastated their communities. As Life / Vida Urbana, a community a member of the Harvard Legal organization (and PNOL ally) that Aid Bureau’s Foreclosure Task brings together tenants and homeForce, I had the privilege to work owners facing foreclosure and with a number of the homeowners eviction to fight back against and tenants I canvassed, defending banks and predatory investorthem against eviction in Boston landlords. The level of energy, Housing Court. But the real Matt Nickell, J.D. ’14 (second on the left) activity, and engagement in the room and PNOL Members strength of the people I met came was a testament to the transformative from their families and their compower of communities to transmunities, not from within form lives and neighborhoods the courtroom. “To be part of an organization that through direct action. Another major highlight was helping or- allowed me to work with non-lawyers My time with PNOL conganize PNOL’s fourth annual reminded me why I and non-students to push forward a stantly foreclosure conference earlier came to law school and rethis year. We drew 250 lawyers, doubled my commitment to community organizers, profes- grassroots model for systemic change working in the public intersors, and others from over elevest. To be part of an organihas been a tremendous privilege.” en states to talk about the curzation that allowed me to rent state of the foreclosure criwork with non-lawyers and sis, including the new dilemmas we are seeing on the ground non-students to push forward a grassroots model for systemand the solutions needed to address them. ic change has been a tremendous privilege. Though of course I wish that foreclosure and displacement would stop plaguThe most important thing about PNOL for me has been the ing the communities I care about, I hope that organizations people. Canvassing with PNOL allowed me to work with like PNOL continue to bring people from various backamazing students whose commitment to social justice has grounds together to make those communities healthier, hapbeen incredibly inspirational – people like my Co-President pier, and stronger. Tyler Anderson, whose thoughtfulness and diligence kept the
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS
CYBERLAW CLINIC VIA HLS NEWS
School network consortium partners with Cyberlaw Clinic to create privacy toolkit for school systems the core issues and current practices related to the handling of student information in the cloud.
With the help of the Cyberlaw Clinic, the Consortium of School Networks (“CoSN”) has released the Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning Toolkit. The toolkit, issued in March as part of CoSN’s new Protecting Privacy in Connected Learning initiative, provides an in-depth, step-by -step privacy guide to help school system leaders navigate complex federal laws and related issues.
A guide (downloadable from SSRN here) was finalized and published in November and aims to offer schools, parents, and students alike a sense of some of the laws that may apply as schools begin to use cloud computing tools to help educate students. The document is not intended to provide a comprehensive summary of these statutes, nor privacy law in general, and it is not a substitute for specific legal advice. Rather, this guide highlights key provisions in these statutes and maps the legal and regulatory landscape.
CoSN has now launched the Protecting Student Privacy in Connected Learning toolkit as a step-by-step guide to navigating the complexity of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and related privacy issues. The toolkit is organized as a flowchart, and addresses FERPA and COPPA compliance issues as well as smart, suggested practices that Privacy law in the United States is a complicated patchwork go beyond compliance. The toolkit also includes helpful of state and federal case law and statutes, and one of the definitions, checklists, examples, and key questions to ask. biggest issues for schools has been finding a way to protect student privacy and data with the new technological The Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Student advances. CoSN, a professional association for schools Privacy Initiative, led by Executive Director Urs Gasser, system technology leaders, aims to empower educational explores the opportunities and challenges that may arise as leaders to leverage technology to realize engaging learning educational institutions consider adopting cloud computing environments. technologies. In its work across three overlapping clusters— Privacy Expectations & Attitudes, School Practices & In April 2013, the Berkman Center for Internet & Society Policies, and Law & Policy—this initiative aims to engage partnered with Microsoft and prepared a briefing document diverse stakeholder groups from government, educational in advance of the Student Privacy Initiative’s workshop, institutions, academia, and business, among others, develop “Student Privacy in the Cloud Computing Ecosystem.” This shared good practices that promote positive educational event brought together leading experts from government, outcomes, harness technological and pedagogical educational institutions, academia, and business to discuss innovations, and protect critical values.
Cyberlaw Clinic Filed Amicus Brief in Commonwealth v. Augustine VIA CYBERLAW CLINIC
The Cyberlaw Clinic filed an amicus brief on behalf of the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts. The case is Commonwealth v. Augustine, and the issue is whether law enforcement officers can obtain someone’s cell phone location data without first obtaining a warrant. Modern cell phone services make detailed records of a phone user’s travels, which are highly sought-after by law enforcement because they provide the unprecedented ability to retroactively determine where a phone user was, and when. This typically reveals information about a person’s friendships, religious preferences, shopping and eating habits, hobbies, and participation in community activities, as well as whether they were near any crime scenes.
Cyberlaw argued that the protections of the US and Massachusetts Constitutions prohibit law enforcement from warrantlessly poring over such records of people’s movements. Law enforcement officers must demonstrate probable cause to a neutral member of the judicial branch and act according to a valid warrant before such intense intrusion into people’s privacy is appropriate. Without demonstrating reason to believe that a crime has occurred and that the privacy intrusion is likely to provide specified information relating to the crime, the government has not met its burden, and traditional legal safeguards against overzealous or abusive investigations prevent it from intruding on the privacy of the individual in question.
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
SEMESTER IN WASHINGTON
Our Semester in Washington By Jonathan Wroblewski, Clinic Director The 2014 edition of the Harvard Law School Semester in Washing- We worked hard at our placements and shared and learned from ton has now ended. It’s been a terrific semester full of unusual each other’s experiences. We thought about the ethical responsibiliweather, lots of learning and new experiences, and a few surprises. ties of the government lawyer and what it means to take care that the laws be faithfully executed, while the President and the AttorIn these last three months, we have tried to model and learn from ney General were regularly being criticized for failing to do so. We great government policy lawyers. We’ve done so by exploring is- tried to figure out what makes a great organization great and how sues arising from our placements and our work in government, and leadership figures in to that. We ventured outside the Washington also from the headlines: from data privacy to marijuana policy; of tourists and monuments and served some of the people who call from intellectual property protection to foreign affairs; from inter- Washington home. We shared a few meals together and got to know one another a bit better. For national trade and investment to each of us, there were expectations crime and justice. We’ve learned met, expectations missed, and surfrom one another and from leaders prises too. in government and the private sector. We met fascinating people, including Chief Judge Patti Saris of Most gratifying is that we were able Massachusetts, Justice Elena Kato create a small community of gan, Chief Judge Ricardo Hinojosa learning away from Cambridge. I of Texas, Monika Bickert of Facehave enjoyed getting to know each book’s policy shop (and Kaitlin and of you a bit and sharing some of our Emily, too), Congressman Joe Kenexperiences over the past three nedy, and an energetic group of months. Please don’t hesitate to call young White House staffers from on me if there is ever anything I can the Counsel’s Office and the Nado for you. For our graduating 3Ls, my congratulations to you all on a tional Security Staff. job well done. For our 2Ls, I will be in Cambridge in the fall to recruit We’ve looked at what policy makfor our Semester in Washington Semester in Washington Students in the White House Press Briefing Room ing means and the building blocks Class of 2015, and I hope to see that make up rigorous and thoughtful policy making. We worked on some critical skills for the policy lawyer and heard some pretty some of you there. For all of you, if you are ever near the Main good “Elevator Pitches.” We visited the Supreme Court and Justice Building, please drop me a line and let’s find time to catch watched two terrific oral advocates argue before the Court. We set up. goals for ourselves; met many; and missed a few too. My best to all. Enjoy the summer! SPORTS LAW CLINIC
Clinic Student and Harvard Team Take First Place in Sports Case Competition On February 8th, Sports Law Clinic student Alex Rosen, J.D., Speaking about his experience in the competition and ’14 participated in the inaugural Game Day Sports Case education at Harvard Law School, Alex said that the Sports Law Competition, sponsored by UCLA Anderson School of Clinic provided him with an opportunity to learn about the sports Management. Alex and his team pictured on industry while still being enrolled as a full-time the photo won first place in the competition, law student. “The practical legal experience I received went above and beyond my expectabringing home a $5,000 prize. tions and, I believe, was the most efficient use of my ‘class time’ at HLS,” he said. “Professor According to the HLS News article, the Carfagna encourages students to find placecompetition focused on client consulting and ments that are of interest to them and does not negotiation related to the potential move of hesitate to tap into his deep network to make a an NFL franchise to Los Angeles. Eighteen match. He has also been a great mentor and teams comprised of approximately 90 supporter of other sports law initiatives, includstudents flew in from around the country to ing our Harvard team that attended the Game participate in the event, which was judged by Day Sports Case Competition. The clinic was a leading academics and sports industry professionals. big reason why I chose to attend HLS and has given me a head start as I look to begin my professional career in the area of sports law,” said Alex.
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS
WILMERHALE LEGAL SERVICES CENTER VETERANS LAW CLINIC
United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims comes to Harvard Law School By Sarah Flowers, J.D. ’13 For the first time in its history, Harvard Law School hosted the a decision at the agency level. When a veteran chooses to U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ Claims (CAVC). The appeal the final agency determination issued by the BVA, he or CAVC is a court of national jurisdiction based in Washington, she is bringing a legal action against the Secretary of Veterans D.C., with authority to sit anywhere in the United States. Affairs. The Court—either as a single judge, a three-judge Notably, this morning’s oral argupanel, or sitting en banc—reviews the BVA ment in the Ames Courtroom repredecision, the written record, the briefs of the sents one of only two instances in the parties. Occasionally the Court will allow (or Court’s history that law students have require) oral argument for cases which prepresented oral argument to the Court. sent novel questions on potentially precedenHarvard Law students tial issues. Brad Hinshelwood, J.D. ’14 and Christopher Melendez, J.D. ’15— HLS students advocated on behalf of participants in the HLS Veterans LeLieutenant Colonel (LTC) Ausmer on the gal Clinic—presented oral argument question of whether LTC Ausmer (the appelon behalf of client Lieutenant Cololant), who was serving in Afghanistan when nel William Ausmer in the case Austhe Board of Veteran’s Appeals (Board) mer v. Shinseki. HLS Juan mailed notice of its decision to his home Arguello, J.D. ’14 is also on the Ausaddress stateside, is entitled to statutory and mer legal team, as were Abigail equitable tolling of the 120-day period to file Dwyer Matltz, J.D. ’14 and Mia Notice of Appeal at the U.S. Court of chael Lieberman ’13 during the Appeals for Veterans Claim. The HLS prior semester’s Veterans Legal L-R: Christopher Melendez (2L), Brad Hinshelwood (3L), students also argued that tolling isn’t Juan Arguello (2L) Clinic. required at all if the Court finds that VA provided inadequate notice to LTC Ausmer of his procedural rights and/or Importantly, the Court of Appeals improper notice of the underlying decifor Veterans Claims is not part of sion. The Board of Veterans’ Appeals the Department of Veterans Affairs denied LTC Ausmer’s claim for disability or the Veterans Administration benefits for an injury to his lower extrem(VA). Rather, the Court was creatities, but the decision was handed down ed in 1988 to provide independent while he was serving in Afghanistan, and judicial review of final decisions he was unable to pursue his right to apgiven by Veterans Law Judges on peal until after he returned from his dethe Board of Veterans’ Appeals ployment and readjusted to civilian life— (BVA). BVA decisions represent final determinations at the agency after the appeal deadline has passed. level. These agency determinations were not subject to independent At the conclusion of oral argument—with judicial review before the creation L-R: Brad Hinshelwood (3L), Juan Arguello (2L), Dean the Court in recess—the three CAVC of the CAVC in 1988, as VA had Martha Minow, Chief Judge Bruce E. Kasold, Christopher judges returned to Ames Courtroom to heretofore operated virtually free Melendez (2L), Judge Mary J. Schoelen, and Judge Wilparticipate in a lively question & answer of judicial oversight. session with event attendees. The judges liam S. Greenberg were able to field many interesting questions concerning the Court’s At the agency level, up until DECISION approach to the unique issues faca case is appealed to the CAVC, proceedings are not On December 19th, 2013 the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans’ ing veterans. In conclusion, the adversarial in nature. Claims ruled that Lieutenant Colonel Wilson J. Ausmer, Jr., a judges expressed enthusiasm toward further development of clinIndeed, the VA has a “duty highly decorated veteran, should be able to file an appeal. The ics and pro bono practices which to assist” each veteran filing decision effectively allows thousands of recently discharged serve the needs of our country’s a new claim and appealing veterans whose ability to file an appeal is “materially affected” by service men and women. their service, a full 210 days from the date of discharge to appeal adverse decisions.
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
FAMILY AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW CLINIC
Clinic Student Advocates for Survivor of Domestic Violence By Akhila Kolisetty, J.D. ’15 As I sat in the courtroom with my client, waiting for the judge to call us for a pre-trial hearing, we saw my client’s abusive husband enter the room. Immediately, she became nervous and tense. In that moment – as she started tearing up and remembering the past abuse he had put her through – I saw the impact that a lawyer and advocate can make in the lives of survivors of domestic violence. I listened to my client’s needs, reassured her that she would be safe, and that we would achieve the best possible outcome in her divorce case.
abuse. Prior to law school, I had volunteered as an advocate providing peer support to immigrant survivors of violence but often felt that I lacked the capacity to fully advocate for them. The Family and Domestic Violence Law Clinic helped me pair empathy with crucial skills in negotiation, oral advocacy and legal writing, to be a much stronger advocate for clients. I not only learned to represent clients in pre-trial hearings, but also conducted discovery, helped clients file for divorce, and advised them on their options. Throughout this process, I received helpful feedback that concretely improved my skills.
A few minutes after this conversation, I had the chance to present the key issues in the case before a family court judge. Many survivors of domestic violence are In my opening statement, I detailed the immigrants and low-income; they have history of abuse my client had gone difficulty navigating the court system through. I explained why she deserved and lack the finances to hire a lawyer. custody of her children, why she should Furthermore, abusers often appear confireside in the marital home, and receive dent in court, while survivors of abuse child support. Through discovery, I had feel intimidated when required to speak gathered evidence of a substantial sum of money that my Akhila Kolisetty, J.D. ’15 in court alongside their abusive partners. Lawyers in famiclient should have received during the marriage, so I also ly law cases can help survivors of abuse advocate for argued why she deserved a portion of those assets. The judge was sym- themselves and ensure that they obtain the financial resources and the pathetic to our requests and gave us more time to collect critical evidence independence they need in order to move forward and thrive. Lawyers needed before a trial. I left feeling that the case would have a positive can also simply listen to difficult stories, acknowledge past abuse, and outcome, and my client left feeling a sense of hope for the future. serve as a support system. The experience of representing low-income survivors of domestic vio- The Family and Domestic Violence Law Clinic helped me develop vital lence was an incredible one. I had come to law school with a deep inter- skills needed to become such a lawyer and advocate, while also providing a needed service to a vulnerable population. I cannot think of a better est in improving my ability to advocate for survivors of domestic experience to have as a law student.
POST-FORECLOSURE EVICTION DEFENSE / HOUSING LAW CLINIC
By K-Sue Park, J.D. ’15 Less than 7 percent of tenants facing evictions have representation in Boston Housing Court, in which around 5000 summary process cases are brought annually. My experience representing one elderly couple, who were the victims of a foreclosure rescue scam, showed me plainly that legal representation makes all the difference for families and individuals facing eviction, and that the foreclosure crisis has also been a crisis in access to legal services. My clients were an elderly immigrant couple from the British Isles, who at the time of foreclosure, had lived in their house for more than forty years. They had fallen into financial difficulties with a bank loan at the very beginning of the national foreclosure crisis, in 2007. They were desperate for help, and fell prey to a foreclosure rescue scam artist who, unknown to them, had previously been convicted for defrauding single mothers of their welfare checks in the same neighborhood. Through him, third parties took out a new mortgage on their house. Then, he disappeared with the money and the bank foreclosed on the house. Finally, Fannie Mae purchased the house at auction while the elderly couple faced eviction. Subsequently, the Legal Services Center sued the scam artist and his team, and took on the couple’s defense in the summary process case.
moves in favor of the non-traditional tenant: it considers occupants of a property owned by another, who agrees to their occupation and benefits as a result in a way that he would not otherwise have benefited, to be tenants. Fannie Mae therefore mistakenly evicted them as homeowners, and failed to observe the procedural rights to which they were entitled as tenants. The judge agreed with me, and as a result, the summary process case against them was dismissed.
From the beginning of my work on this case, I felt strongly about advocating for the elderly couple. However, I did not understand just how defenseless they were until the day of the hearing. First, we picked them up to bring them to the courthouse since they likely would not have made it there on their own. They are in their seventies and eighties, not very mobile, and one of them had a major stroke since the action was brought against them. Secondly, once at the courthouse, one of them became visibly anxious and afraid. When I tried to review the questions that we had already prepared for direct examination, she could barely speak, her eyes watered, and she held her stomach because she was nervous. Seeing this, the judge did not force them to the stand. I was glad, but also felt keenly aware that not all judges are so kind, and also, of how easily others in their situation might miss their court appearances altoIn late February, on their behalf, I argued that Fannie Mae’s Notice to Quit gether, resulting in a default judgment for the other side. Under these circumhad been improperly served since our clients were better understood as ten- stances, it felt natural and necessary to speak up for them, and to put the trainants than homeowners at the time of the foreclosure. Massachusetts law ing I have received in law school to exactly the use for which it was meant.
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS
EDUCATION LAW CLINIC / TRAUMA AND LEARNING POLICY INITIATIVE
Celebrating the Release of the Trauma and Learning Policy Initiative’s Second Book Written by Clinic Students
On November 14, 2013 the professors and students from of T.L.P.I. and Brockton’s efforts aimed at creating traumathe Education Law Clinic sensitive schools, and emphatraveled to Brockton, MA to sized the need for broader celebrate the release of the support and connectivity Trauma and Learning Policy among education professionInitiative’s (T.L.P.I.) second als. book, Helping Traumatized Children Learn Volume 2: The energy in the room was Creating and Advocating for palpable as Joel Ristuccia and Trauma-Sensitive Schools. Professor Michael Gregory, T.L.P.I. is a partnership betwo of the book’s co-authors, tween HLS and Massachurevealed T.L.P.I.’s new setts Advocates for Children website, which includes a (MAC) that focuses on the wealth of information on trauneed to address trauma in ma, an online bookstore, and schools and the impact it can a forum designed to create a have on student learnnationwide dynamic traumaing. T.L.P.I. uses its policy sensitive learning community work, advocacy, and direct L to R: Michael Gregory (Assistant Clinical Professor), Sonya Ho (3L), focused on making schools legal services to help trau- Niousha Rahbar, Spencer Churchill, Leanne Gaffney, Kate Bargerhuff, safe and supportive. matized children succeed in Amanda Savage, Seth Packrone, Susan Cole (Clinical Director) school. Meanwhile, for the student attorneys at the Education Law Clinic, the book Attendees at the release celebrated the success launch was a break from advocating for approof Mary E. Baker Elementary School, a traupriate educational services for individual stuma-sensitive school, and the Brockton comdents in Massachusetts who have had traumatic munity, and featured different stakeholders experiences, and an opportunity to share in the involved in education policy and reform, inexcitement of T.L.P.I.’s success and witness the cluding HLS Lecturer on Law and Director of results of advocating at the systemic level. Anne T.L.P.I. Susan Cole, Principal Ryan Powers of Eisner, one of the book’s co-authors and the the Mary E. Baker Elementary School, and Deputy Director of T.L.P.I., played a large role Matthew Malone, Massachusetts Secretary of in orchestrating the entire event. Overall, the Education. Both the educators and legislators evening was an exciting new step in creating in attendance highlighted the achievements awareness for schools’ mandate to create a more supportive environment to meet the whole needs of the child. VIA HARVARD IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE CLINIC WEBSITE
HARVARD IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE CLINIC
HIRC co-writes Amicus Brief on Gang-Based Asylum Case The case of Jose Fuentes-Colocho highlights the complexities of cases involving youth fleeing gang violence. Fuentes-Colocho sought refuge from El Salvador as a teenager after being repeatedly persecuted by Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13). MS-13 is no longer just a street gang; it is now the organized insurgency which destabilizes El Salvador’s political scene. It controls municipalities and government officials must negotiate with gang members. Due to his outspoken opposition to MS-13 as leader of a local organization, Jose was beaten unconscious on several occasions and was forced to watch MS-13 members rape his female friends.
amicus brief arguing that MS-13 is a political entity and that Jose Fuentes-Colocho’s opposition to MS-13 constitutes political opinion. Professor Anker believes Jose’s political opinion is a central reason why he was targeted for gang violence. “This is an important case because most of the cases have been argued under the social group ground, which hasn’t been successful,” Anker remarks. “I think political opinion is the way to go in cases like this.” Despite Fuentes-Colocho’s credible testimony, the Immigration Judge expressed that Jose could not ‘explain’ how his opposition to MS-13 was indeed political in nature. The Judge concluded that he was a victim of mere ‘random acts of vioDeborah Anker, Nancy Kelly, John Willshire-Carrera, and L. lence’. HIRC is hoping the decision will be overturned. The case Rachel Lerman (Partner at Akin Gump LLP) recently wrote an is currently pending in the Ninth Circuit.
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
VIA HARVARD IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE CLINIC WEBSITE
THE HARVARD IMMIGRATION AND REFUGEE CLINIC
HIRC at GBLS Defends Rights of Local Immigrants John Willshire-Carrera and Nancy Kelly, Co-Managing Directors of HIRC at GBLS, with their students and colleagues, continue their work on behalf of asylees and immigrants. Rooted in Greater Boston Legal Services (GBLS), the largest legal services program in New England, the Clinic works “from the bottom up,” representing individuals and communities, as well as advocating for law reform on a broader scale. Over the years, the Clinic has responded to numerous important events, including backlash against immigrant communities in the aftermath of 9/11, TPS registrations, the 2007 New Bedford factory raid, and the DACA registration initiative started in 2012. Through this work, HIRC at GBLS strives to teach students how to provide high-quality legal services to individual clients while seeking to change the climate in which cases are adjudicated and targeting issues for broader law reform efforts.
HIRC at GBLS has represented clients in asylum, withholding and CAT cases, and cases involving other forms of relief at all levels – the Asylum Office, the Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals, and the Circuit Courts. These cases have often raised cutting-edge issues in asylum protection, including domestic violence and other gender-based harm, and harm inflicted based on sexual orientation or gender identity, as a basis for asylum, and the appropriate standard to be applied in evaluating asylum claims brought by children, including unaccompanied minors. Most recently, the Clinic is representing a number of children fleeing gang-related violence in Central America and indigenous individuals whose claims arise from the genocidal civil war in Guatemala.
JUDICIAL PROCESS IN COMMUNITY COURTS CLINIC
Graduating Students Help Examine the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct By Hon. Judge John C. Cratsley (Rte.) Stephanie Phillips and Alex Pepper, two graduating students in Judge Cratsley’s “Judicial Process in Community Courts Clinic and Seminar, have written their seminar papers in association with an on-going project of the Supreme Judicial Court examining revisions to the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct. The SJC Committee to Study the Massachusetts Code of Judicial Conduct is chaired by the Honorable Cynthia Cohen, HLS ’75, of the Appeals Court and staffed by Senior Attorney Barbara Berenson, HLS ’84.
“I hope that our research will be of assistance to Ms. Berenson’s committee reviewing the state’s Code of Judicial Conduct. The course, paired with our clinical placements in local courts, provided an invaluable learning experience for me,” said Stephanie.
Graduating students Stephanie Phillips and Alex Pepper worked with Barbara Berenson to select paper topics that matched issues of interest to the committee’s work. As a result, Stephanie wrote about the ethical issues for judges when they receive free or discounted legal services for defending themselves before the Commission on Judicial Conduct (JNC). This issue recently came into the public spotlight after the Boston Globe revealed that a judge, accused before the JNC of systemic bias against the Commonwealth in criminal cases, disclosed that a law firm had provided him with pro bono legal services for his ultimately successful defense. Stephanie explored the multiple issues of judicial ethics involved as well as a variety of solutions found in other states, such as full disclosure, gift limits, and state reimbursement for accused judges.
“The opportunity to research questions of current relevance while having access to those most interested in the material is wonderful. It made my research more interesting to conduct and, I hope, more useful in results,” said Alex.
Alex, on the other hand, tackled the structure and workings of state judicial ethics advisory boards which exist through the U.S. Every state now has some type of informal procedure for obtaining ethical advice. Because some committee members have expressed an interest in understanding variations among judicial ethics advisory boards, Alex’s paper examined the size of such committees, their rules, their composition and their source of authority ending with “Lessons for Massachusetts”.
"Having thoughtful law students drill down into complex issues is very helpful," said Berenson. "I am very grateful to Judge Cratsley and his students for their willingness to engage with these important topics."
Stephanie Phillips , J.D. ’14
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GOVERNMENT LAWYER: STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL CLINIC VIA THE HARVARD LAW BULLETIN
Going National: Clinic places students in AGs’ offices across the country informing him that he could work in an AG’s office over winter term. Tierney had just expanded enrollment in the clinic by using winter term to send HLS students to work in AG’s offices across the country. Tierney, a nationally renowned expert on the role of state attorneys general and director of the National State Attorneys General Program at Columbia Law School, called on his extensive professional network to place 10 additional HLS students in AG’s offices in California, Illinois, Colorado, Maryland, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island.
Mike Gendall, J.D. ’14
Human Trafficking. Cybercrime. Consumer protection. Public integrity. With broad constitutional and statutory jurisdiction, state attorneys general handle all these matters and more, often in high-impact litigation. Given this variety of opportunities it provides, Harvard Law School’s Attorneys General Clinic, taught by former Maine AG, James E. Tierney, has been one of the most popular in the clinical program since it was instituted in 2011, with placements in the office of Massachusetts AG Martha Coakley. Coakley has been extremely supportive of the clinic – and is a guest lecturer in the related classroom course each spring – but her office can only accept just six HLS students each semester. In the past, that has meant a waiting list for many students. That changed changed last year. Mike Gendall ’14 was on the waiting list until he received an email from Tierney last fall
Gendall, who grew up in Beverly on Boston’s North Shore, wanted to go somewhere he’d never been, and Tirney suggested he work for New Mexico’s top lawyer, Gary K. King, in Santa Fe. In a small state with a small AG staff, Gendall found himself with significant responsibility from the moment he arrived and spent his three weeks researching and writing an appellate brief in a criminal case. “It was the first time in my legal career I was entrusted with that much independence and responsibility, and I welcomed it,” he says. Jordan Grossman, ’14, who worked for former U.S. Secre-
tary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano before matriculating at HLS, signed up for the clinic in search of state government experience. When he learned of the winter term option, Grossman told Tierney he hoped to return to his home state of Maryland, and Tierney helped place him at the office of AG Doug Gansler. There, Grossman was exposed to a variety of high-level cases, including litigation between the University of Maryland and the Atlantic Coast Conference, and a controversial ballot initiative to expand gambling in the state. “I was surprised at how substantive and valuable it felt in such a short period of time,” says Grossman. “If you’re willing to jump in and get involved right away, it can be very rewarding.
EMMETT ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY CLINIC VIA HLS NEWS
Margaret Holden ’14 – came to HLS to study environmental law and jumped right in as a 1L, joining Richard Lazarus’ reading group on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and both the Environmental Law Society (ELS) and the Environmental Law Review (ELR). The summer after her 1L year, she worked at the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. in the Environmental Crimes Section. As a 2L, she was elected copresident of the ELS, served as a research assistant for both Lazarus and Kate Konschnik, director of the ELP Policy Initiative, and during Jterm, worked on a fracking project in the clinic. That summer she worked at the D.C. office of the Natural Resources Defense Council. As a 3L, she enrolled again in the clinic and was elected Editor-in-Chief of the Environmental Law Review. Holden traveled to India this past Jterm to research a paper on the solar industry. Next year, she will be clerking for the D.C. Court of Appeals, then working in environmental policy with a focus on climate and energy issues. Says Holden: “In terms of support, it’s been incredible. The clinic and classes are really great, and the faculty are so supportive and connected
— they’ve really helped me to do everything I’ve wanted to do. Working at DOJ and NRDC were my dream summer internships, and the faculty recommendations and experience I’ve had with ELP definitely enabled me to get them.” “One of the projects that I worked on for the clinic evaluated whether FracFocus, a voluntary chemical disclosure registry for fracking projects, was an adequate regulatory tool. We found major shortcomings with the registry, and published a report Credit: Heratch Photography containing our findings that was distributed to relevant stakeholders and picked up Margaret Holden, J.D. ’14 in several media outlets.”
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
VIA INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC WEBSITE
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC
Clinical Team Effort Yields Courtroom Win for Bolivian Human Rights Plaintiffs (Cambridge, MA) – Today (May 21, 2014), U.S. District Judge James Cohn issued orders allowing the human rights claims of eight Bolivian residents to proceed against former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada and former Defense Minister Jose Carlos Sánchez Berzaí (“Defendants”), both of whom have lived in the United States for more than a decade. The Clinic, working in coalition with human rights lawyers from the Center for Constitutional Rights and pro bono counsel at Akin Gump, represents the Bolivian plaintiffs who have been seeking to hold the Defendants liable for their roles in the 2003 military killings that claimed the lives of eight of their relatives: fathers, wives, husbands, sisters and daughters, as well as an unborn child.
Rejecting Defendants’ motion to dismiss in part, Judge Cohn held that the Plaintiffs could assert claims under the Torture Victim Protection Act (TVPA) because “it does not appear that Bolivia
Judge Cohn found that Plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged facts that “plausibly suggest that these killings were deliberate” and further found that the Plaintiffs’ complaint adequately alleged that Defendants were responsible for the killings under the doctrine of command responsibility. Specifically, Judge Cohn found that Plaintiffs had sufficiently alleged that:
The court granted Defendants’ motion to dismiss claims asserted under the Alien Tort Statute (ATS), finding that the claims alleged in the complaint were not sufficiently connected to the United States, as they occurred entirely in Bolivia. Plaintiffs’ case had previously been ordered dismissed by the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in 2011. The amended complaint that was the subject of Judge Cohn’s order was filed in 2013.
even before taking office, Defendants had planned to use lethal
will have the opportunity to specifically redress Defendants’ alleged human rights violations within its own judicial system anytime soon, if at all.” In response to Defendants’ arguments that humanitarian payments made to Plaintiffs by the Bolivian government precluded claims against them, the court further held that “it would be absurd to conclude that Defendants could avoid liability for their alleged wrongs merely because the Bolivian government saw fit to render some humanitarian assistance to Plaintiffs.”
force to quell political disturbances
In the proceedings before Judge Cohn, Paintiffs were represented by a legal team including Beth Stephens and Judith Chomsky, working with the Center for Constitutional Rights; Tyler Giannini, Susan Farbstein Plaintiffs’ relatives were killed as a result of that plan and Thomas Becker, affiliated with the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic; David Rudovsky of Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing Defendants had failed to prevent killings by the military under their & Feinberg, LLP; and Steven Schulman, Michael Small, Jeremy Bolcommand linger and Jonathan Slowik of Akin Gump. HLS clinical students Betsy Boutelle, JD ’14, Avery Halfon, JD ’15, Lynnette Miner, JD ’14, Ariel Nelson, JD ’15, and Oded Oren, JD ’15, have also contributed countless hours to the case over the past year. VIA INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC WEBSITE
INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC
Released in Geneva: “Advancing the Debate on Killer Robots” By Joseph Klingler, J.D. ’14 In Geneva today (May 14, 2014), the Clinic and Human Rights Watch Weapons, a treaty that governs problematic weapons. Two clinical released the latest in a series of students, Evelyn Kachaje, JD ’15, and publications calling for a preemptive ban Joseph Klingler, JD ’14, who along with on the development, production, and use Yukti Choudhary, LLM ’14 helped Senior of fully autonomous weapons. The weapClinical Instructor Bonnie Docherty draft the ons also called “killer robots” would be paper, are attending the talks. The Clinic is capable of selecting and firing upon tarworking with the Campaign to Stop Killer gets without any meaningful human conRobots, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations, to increase momentum towards an trol. eventual treaty banning fully autonomous weapons. The joint paper, entitled “Advancing the Debate on Killer Robots,” systematically rebuts 12 arguments that have been raised On Monday, before the conference began, the by critics of a ban. Its release coincides Clinic and Human Rights Watch released with a major international disarmament “Shaking the Foundations: The Human Rights conference dedicated to fully autonomous weapons, being held at the Implications of Killer Robots.” The report found that fully autonomous UN in Geneva this week. More than 400 delegates from government, weapons threaten fundamental human rights and principles: the right to international organizations, and civil society have gathered to discuss life, the right to a remedy, and the principle of dignity. the weapons under the framework of the Convention on Conventional
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS
TRANSACTIONAL LAW CLINICS VIA HLS NEWS
Condo Confidential In his first two semesters in TLC, Joshua Wackerly ’14 encountered three low- to middle-income clients with a similar problem: They were living in affordable condominiums and wanted to sell their units and move—but they couldn’t. Their condo associations were dysfunctional, and banks and buyers wouldn’t touch the properties.
community programs at Urban Edge, a local community development corporation. After consulting with colleagues and with the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development, Credle suggested the idea of a manual for condo owners explaining their rights and responsibilities. Wackerly led a team of two other students, Faith Alexander ’14 and Sarah Weiner ’15, to create the manual.
“After researching the problem and speaking with a few different people involved in affordable housing, it became apparent that this is a very common problem in Boston,” Wackerly says.
Among the major groups that assisted with the manual’s development is the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association. Karen Wiener, the organization’s deputy director, says, “The students are helping us to see what are the bigger issues that can be addressed more globally.” She continues, “Particularly for a nonprofit organization like ours, where we’re always trying to do too much without enough staff and enough resources, it’s just wonderful that this kind of resource exists.”
It was an issue tailor-made for the TLC’s Community Enterprise Project, which encourages Credit: Bob O’Connor students to identify community Joshua Wackerly ’14, Faith Alexander ’14 have needs that emerge from their representation of individuals or created a manual for condo owners explaining interactions with local organiza- their rights and responsibilities. tions, and devise broad-based strategies for addressing them. “The students are helping us to see what
The manual is available online, and Wackerly’s team has distributed are the bigger issues that can be addressed printed copies to area housing Seventy-nine percent of Boston’s 7,400 residential condo associa- more globally. Particularly for a nonprofit organizations. In April they presented tions are tiny—fewer than five organization like ours, where we’re always a class, with CHAPA and the of Neighborhood units—and many are too often trying to do too much without enough staff Department Development, at a public library run at low levels of professionaland enough resources, it’s just branch in Dorchester. ism that can result in underinwonderful that this kind of resource exists.” sured properties, poor conflict resolution, and inadequate reAs Wackerly prepares to graduate this - Karen Wiener, Deputy Director serves, causing banks and buyers year, he hopes to set the stage for Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association to shy away from their properties. future action on the Healthy Condos With condos making up about 21 Project by proposing a project for espercent of Boston’s housing stock, a widetablishing accessible alternative dispute resoluspread logjam on condo sales can drag on tion the economy. For individual owners with mechanisms for condo owners. “My hope is that assets tied up in their condos, the results our team will have some time to start researching and drafting these proposals so that can be devastating. students next semester can pick up where we left off,” he says. To see how TLC might help, Wackerly Credit: Ethan Thomas reached out to Bob Credle, director of Sarah Weiner, J.D. ’15
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
LL.M. Student Reflects on his Work in Palestine INDEPENDENT CLINICAL PROGRAM The Independent Clinical Program offers students interested in a field of law not covered by the clinical program the opportunity to develop their own clinical projects around the United States and the world. Last Winter Term approximately 100 Harvard Law School students traveled to over 45 international cities to pursue clinical projects that ranged from examining transitional justice issues for the ABA Rule of Law Initiative in Mali to developing case studies for the Arts Law Center in Australia. Within the United States, students traveled to 30 cities to practice with government offices such as the United States Attorney’s Office, Senate Judiciary Committee, and organizations such as the Equal Justice Center, Louisiana Legal Services, United Nations Development Programme and the American Civil Liberties Union.
After having taken Prof. Robert Mnookin’s reading group on the barriers to resolution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I was eager to get exposed to the complex legal and policy issues of this struggle in the real world. I wanted to take the opportunity afforded by the Independent Clinical Program to get involved in the defence of Palestinians’ human rights in the occupied Palestinian territories.
I was struck by the similarity of Bedouin experiences in the West Bank. They were all refugees from the Negev desert, they all faced demolition and eviction orders from the Israeli Civil Administration, and they all lived in subhuman conditions with no access to water, electricity or education and health services. I was able to witness that, in Area C of the West Bank, Israel’s restrictive planning policies basically deny Bedouin peoples the right to build tents, erect infrastructures such as schools, or to graze their livestock. As Israel is planning to establish a contiguous bloc of settlements between Ma’ale Adumim and Jerusalem as part of the E1 plan and to expand other settlements in Area C of the West Bank, Bedouin peoples are again at grave risk of forced eviction and centralization in planned townships.
With the help of the Harvard Human Rights Program, I got involved in a project of the Human Rights Clinic of AlQuds University in Abu Dis. The Clinic asked me to prepare a comprehensive report on the forced displacement of Bedouin communities living in the East Jerusalem periphery. In order for me to identify legal arguments on both sides of the conflict, and to find gaps in knowledge about the legal aspects of the topic, I met in PalesMy time in Palestine was Samuel Cogolati, LL.M. ’14 tine with very interreally formative and esting lawyers at varieye-opening. I will “My hope is that my legal skills ous organizations keep in touch with the such as B’Tselem, Al acquired during my time at Clinic in the next -Haq, and the United months to help them Harvard Law School can Nations Work and develop new legal arguRelief Agency for ments against forced contribute to the furtherance of Palestinian Refugees eviction of Bedouin (UNRWA). human rights and humanitarian families around Jerusalem. My hope is that advocacy in the region. “ The Clinic also my legal skills acquired arranged two field during my time at visits for me in BedHarvard Law School ouin villages near Abu Dis (where I lived), can contribute to the furtherance of human in the Jordan valley, and in the South Heb- rights and humanitarian advocacy in the reron Hills close to the Negev desert. gion.
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS
STUDENTS REFLECT ON THEIR CLINICAL EDUCATION CRIMMIGRATION CLINIC By Samuel Weiss, J.D. ’14 While the idea of focusing immigration enforcement on folks with criminal convictions has intuitive appeal, in the Crimmigration Clinic we got to see how often good people faced devastating consequences for small crimes. The statutes most relevant to crimmigration are extremely punitive, especially to people with drug convictions, and often suck discretion out of the system so that immigration judges are left to rubber stamp removal orders. The poor drafting of these statutes makes them confusing but also means that there is room for advocates to be creative in trying to win relief for their clients. The fact that immigrants facing deportation have no right to counsel creates a huge opportunity for students to help people navigate an incredibly complex and punitive system. As an experienced practitioner in exactly these types of cases, Phil Torrey, Clinical Instructor and Lecturer on Law, and was able to closely mentor us as we tried to help clients find some avenue for relief. Through the Capital Punishment Clinic placement at the Southern Center for Human Rights, I was able to work on cases under the supervision of some of the best capital defense lawyers in the country. I was also given any intern's dream, which is the ability to duck into the office of someone like Carol Steiker and bounce ideas off of her as I performed my work. Both experiences encouraged me to continue on the path of advocating for people caught up in the criminal justice system. I am also certain that both helped convince the ACLU and the Ford Foundation that I had the desire and the skill set to contribute to the complex impact litigation that is the National Prison Project's specialty.
CYBERLAW CLINIC VIA HLS NEWS
Rebecca Matte, J.D. ’14 In Rebecca Matte’s first year at HLS, Property with Professor Charles Donahue sparked her fascination with intellectual property (IP) law. “I majored in English in college, and love fiction and writing, so this perfectly combined those passions with the law, specifically copyright law as concerns the arts,” Matte said. She then took many courses with copyright and other intellectual property components, joined the Cyberlaw Clinic, and spent her summer employment in IP transactions and litigation at a New York law firm. When Matte heard about the opportunity for travel during winter term, she immediately saw it as a way to gain even more experience in the IP field. Matte found a clinical placement in Sydney, Australia, at the Arts Law Centre, a not-for-profit organization providing legal advice, assistance, and advocacy to artists and arts organizations. “IP is becoming more and more international as the growth of the Internet makes borders useless,” she said. “Working at the Centre let me further develop my understanding of arts law in general and also familiarize myself with another country’s legal system.” EMMETT ENVIRONMENTAL LAW AND POLICY CLINIC By David Baake, J.D. ’14 My experience with the Environmental Law and Policy Clinic was one of the highlights of my time in law school. I was able to work on a variety of interesting and important projects, including a memorandum for a Massachusetts state representative, a Supreme Court amicus brief, and a white paper on offshore drilling. These experiences allowed me to develop practical skills that were not emphasized in other aspects of the law school curriculum. They also allowed me to develop a relationship with Professor Jacobs, who has been an excellent teacher and mentor.
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
CENTER FOR HEALTH LAW AND POLICY INNOVATION FOOD LAW AND POLICY CLINIC
By Molly Cohen, J.D. ’14
By Erin Schwartz, J.D. ’14 Americans are becoming increasingly aware of the serious problems with our current food system. Not only do we have extremely high rates of obesity and diet-related diseases, we also have millions of Americans who suffer from food insecurity, frequent food-borne illness outbreaks, and many issues surrounding industrialized agriculture—from environmental pollution to antibiotic overuse.
I was drawn towards the Food Law and Policy Clinic due to an interest in policy work and local government work. The clinic was an amazing and unique opportunity to do hands-on, practical policy work, as I helped the City of Boston develop guidance for permitting the urban agriculture program. As part of the project, I interacted with a variety of city agencies, helping to troubleshoot issues that might arise in implementing the ordinance. It taught me the difficulties that can arise when a novel policy idea butts up against a complicated city bureaucracy.
I was drawn to the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic because I am extremely interested in how lawyers can create effective laws and policies to strengthen local food systems, thereby increasing access to healthy foods, stimulating community and economic development, and promoting sustainable food production and land stewardship. I wanted to work on state and local issues, and the Clinic offered a number of projects that allowed me to do just that. My work involved researching ways to use law and policy to support local farmers and food entrepreneurs, whether by preferencing locally-grown food in state procurement policies; reducing legal barriers to selling locally-raised meat products at farmers’ markets; or creating a guide on the legal needs of small-scale Massachusetts farmers. I gained many skills through my experiences in the Clinic. At a basic level, I strengthened my legal research, writing, and analysis. In addition, I developed communication and interpersonal skills critical to effective policy work through building relationships with stakeholders, liaising with state officials, and providing workshops to community members. These skills will be essential for my future career, in which I plan to use legal and policy tools to address critical food issues in the Northeast.
HEALTH LAW AND POLICY CLINIC
JUDICIAL PROCESS IN COMMUNITY COURTS CLINIC
By Ryan Tonkin, J.D. ’14
By Alysa Harder, J.D. ’14
The Health Law and Policy Clinic offers a dynamic, energetic setting for students to both form and develop their legal interests. My projects ranged from the post-war districts of Sierra Leone to the innovative mental health courts located across Massachusetts. In between, I worked to incorporate the charitable provision of food and housing into the state and national policies of non-profit hospitals. Each of these projects cultivated my interests in mental health, comparative health law, and the social determinants of health. The clinical staff are talented, friendly and care deeply about their mission of improving the health of underserved populations. My time at the clinic has left me well prepared for the challenges of legal practice.
I’ve had the opportunity to work on challenging research and writing assignments that matter, and to observe and discuss a wide variety of fascinating high-stakes court proceedings, civil and criminal. This internship has put so much of what I’ve learned in law school into context, and has been both very practical and very intellectually satisfying. Alysa had an externship placement with the Suffolk County Superior Court
CLINICAL AND PRO BONO PROGRAMS
EXCELLENCE AWARDS Congratulations Harvard Law School Exemplary Clinical Student Award Winners! Every year, the Clinical and Pro Bono Programs recognizes graduating students who exemplify putting theory into practice through clinical work. This year’s winners are Lerae Kroon ’14 and Brett Heeger ’14. Students have demonstrated excellence in representing individual clients, undertaking group advocacy and policy reform projects. They have kept with the clinical teaching model, and shown thoughtfulness and compassion in their Lerae Kroon, J.D. ’14 practice and contributed to the clinics and SPOs in a meaningful way.
“The opportunity to learn how to be a better advocate while simultaneously providing much-needed legal services to individuals facing homelessness, violence, and other legal problems was not only invaluable to me, but also to the greater Boston community.”
Brett has spent several semesters in the Transactional Law Clinics, as well as being a regular volunteer for the Harvard Immigration Project. He first enrolled in the Clinic out of an interest in using the tools of transactional law to foster economic development in Boston neighborhoods. He initiated meetings with community leaders in the areas surrounding Jamaica Plain and soon proved that he had a knack for the collaborative, project based model of lawyering, and that the community was hungry for the services. Out of Brett’s work, the Community Enterprise Project (CEP) was reborn and now boasts six students, four ongoing projects and a permanent full-time staff member. To clients, city officials and community leaders, Brett represents the face of CEP and a point of access to legal resources at HLS. His work has furthered meaningful community engagement Lerae has been a student at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau for the in economic development, has reached into traditionally underpast two years. She has an unwavering commitment to serve Bos- served corners of Boston, and has allowed him to build considerable ton’s low-income communities, and is passionate about using the skill as a community lawyer. law as a tool for social justice. She has developed a deep understanding of family, housing and wage and hour law. In addition to "My time working with the her own cases, she has served as a mentor for others, stepped in on clients, students, staff, faculshort notice to cover motions and even a very challenging case al- ty, and community partners most on the eve of trial. Although fully prepared for trial, her case I have met through my clinisettled at the last minute and she was really disappointed not to have cal work has been the true the opportunity to cross examine the opposing party! She also man- highlight of my law school aged the communications portfolio at the Bureau, and as a result experience. I am immensely launched a brand new website for the Bureau. Her clinical instruc- grateful for the support, adtor, Stephanie Goldenhersh, notes that “Lerae shines, even amongst vice, and partnership that the cream of the crop”. has come from these individuals, and deeply honored “I am so thankful for the clinical opportunities at HLS, and for the to receive this award as a chance to put my legal skills to practice so early on in my career celebration of our work towith TAP and HLAB,” said Lerae. gether," said Brett. Brett Heeger, J.D. ’14
Kimberly Newberry Wins The Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award Congratulations to Kimberly Newberry for winning the 2014 Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award! During her time at the Harvard Law School, she completed 2,329 hours of pro bono service, the highest number of pro bono service hours in the 2014 graduating class.
Punishment Clinic at the Kentucky Capital Post-Conviction Conflict Unit where she researched a unique 8th Amendment claim and drafted the pleading. Kimberly has also volunteered at Prisoner’s Legal Services in Boston, representing incarcerated individuals in their suits against the prisons for civil rights violations. She spent her summers at the Capital Appeals Project in New Orleans and the Southern CenKimberly is truly dedicated to learning how to be a criminal defense ter for Human Rights in Atlanta. lawyer and to advocating for justice in the capital defense system. She started working her 1L year with the Harvard Defenders and One supervisor said, “Kimberly has been the most enjoyable intern I the Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP). As a 3L, Kimberly was have ever supervised… Working with her allowed me to look at two the Co-Managing Director of PLAP. She also participated in a spring cases that I’ve been on for years in a new light.” break pro bono trip to the Mississippi Delta where students presented a workshop and drafted a guide on estate planning for small farmers. The Andrew L. Kaufman Pro Bono Service Award is granted each year in honor of Professor Andrew Kaufman who has been Kimberly has done a clinic in every semester possible including instrumental in creating and supporting the Pro Bono Service the Housing Law Clinic and the Criminal Justice Institute. She was Program at HLS. even willing to go to Kentucky in the middle of winter for the Capital
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
Shaina Wamsley Wins 2014 Law Student Ethics Award
Shaina Wamsley, J.D. ’14
Congratulations to Harvard Law School’s Legal Services Center student Shaina Wamsley J.D. ’14, who will receive the 2014 Law Student Ethics Award from the Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel! Daniel Nagin and Roger Bertling of the WilmerHale Legal Services Center, and John Fitzpatrick and Sarah Morton of the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project jointly nominated Shania for the award. Together they write:
“Shaina … has demonstrated the extraordinary ability required for the honor of this nomination. Shaina has chosen to spend hundreds of hours over the past 3 years providing direct legal assistance to the poorest, most marginalized and least able of the client populations served through the HLS clinical programs. … Clinical experience is not only about winning: it is about a thirst for learning and honing skills; it is about developing the capacity for self-reflection; it is about challenging perceived notions of how law should and does operate; and, ultimately, it is about taking on the personal challenge of growing into an effective, thoughtful and ethical member of the profession. … Her contributions compel this nomination; her firm adherence to the quiet, less heroic, everyday practice of ethical lawyering across dozens of intakes and cases, her attention to conflicts of interest, her careful explanation to clients of their and our rights and responsibilities, her consistent care with highly confidential medical, personal and legal information, her comprehensive assessments of the broad range of legal issues presented in each case, her thoughtful examination of the social and political contexts implicated, her deeply generous mentoring of several rounds of new clinical students and interns, her insightful and constructive critique of systems and practices, and the intelligent compassion she has shown to each and every individual she has encountered.”
Jessica Frisina Wins Gary Bellow Public Service Award Student winner, Jessica Frisina came to Harvard Law School with a commitment to public interest but uncertain about what area of law interested her the most. Between conversations with friends and clinical instructors, she came to realize David Singleton, ’91, Alum Winner her passion for criminal justice Jessica Frisina, J.D. ’14, Student Winner and started representing inmates in disciplinary hearings through the Harvard Prison Legal Assistance Project (PLAP). Jessica spent her 2L summer at the juvenile Public Defender’s office in New Orleans and then went on to the Criminal Justice Institute to represent clients in criminal and juvenile court.
“Jess has made my job very easy”, said Kristin Muñiz, Clinical Instructor at the Criminal Justice Institute. “She is diligent, compassionate, and fights very hard for her clients. Just recently she argued a very difficult Motion to Suppress. She was well prepared and responded to all of the judge’s questions, including citing to cases that supported her position. The Judge noted that because of her presentation he would take the case under advisement and re-read the cases cited before making his ruling,” said Kristin. “That’s Jessica in every one of her cases – her dedication and preparation caused the Judge to pause. With all of her CJI cases, the ones assigned to her and the additional ones that she volunteered to take from other students, she immediately calls the client, sets up an interview and gets down to work,” she said. The Gary Bellow award was created in 2001, in honor of Professor Gary Bellow, a pioneering public interest lawyer, founder and former Faculty Director of Harvard Law School’s Clinical Programs. The awards are presented annually by the HLS student body to recognize one third-year student and one graduate who have demonstrated excellence in public interest work and a strong commitment to social justice.
LEARNING THE LAW | SERVING THE WORLD
Congratulations Weiler Award Recipients! On February 21st, four Harvard Law School students were honored with the Weiler Awards presented at the Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law’s 2014 Symposium. The Awards are presented annually to eligible students who have participated in the HLS Sports and Entertainment Law Courses, in the Committee on Sports and Entertainment Law and the Journal on Sports and Entertainment Law activities, as well as clinical placements through the Sport Law Clinic. 3L winners were Daniel Loveland, Daniel McMann, and Russell Yavner. David Loveland, J.D. ’14
the Harvard Crimson men’s hockey team as part of the Sports Law Clinic was a highlight of my time at HLS. The clinic was a great combination of work and play as it allowed me to connect my classroom training and legal skills with one of my favorite pasttimes, hockey, through close examination of current amateurism and eligibility issues of college sports. Professor Weiler and his family, Professor Carfagna, and all the incredible HLS Alums who contributed to endow these awards are the heroes here; their support for the study of sport law and the students of Harvard Law School cannot be thanked enough.” “It is a fantastic opportunity that we have at Harvard - Daniel McMann, J.D. ’14 to dive into the Sports industry through both course and clinical work. I was able to benefit from Profes- “I am grateful to Professor Carfagna for his guidance, sor Carfagna and Professor Weiler’s dedication to encouragement and friendship. I have been very forstudents in creating such a tremendous program.” tunate to participate extensively in HLS’s Sports Law - Daniel Loveland, J.D. ’14 Clinic, where I have worked with attorneys who are a true all-star legal team and who have taught me how “I am honored and humbled by this award and by the to negotiate a deal, draft a contract and litigate a nomination from Professor Paul Weiler and Professor claim.” - Russell Yavner, J.D. ’14 Peter Carfagna. Working with Coach Jerry Forton of The forth winner was Michael McGregor (2L).
Daniel McMann, J.D. ’14 VIA THE INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS CLINIC
Class of 2014 Chooses Tyler Giannini for its Teaching Excellence Award
Russell Yavner, J.D. ’14
“Tyler is a rare find, a triple threat: an advocate-teacher-scholar who embraces all these roles and finds in them a harmony that is truly a joy to witness and learn from. Anyone who works with him can sense the passion that he brings to work. It is evident in the emotion, care, and impeccable commitment to quality that he invests into everything he produces, from U.S. Supreme Court briefs to course syllabi to student role-plays. Tyler works this way because he cares deeply about teaching his students to be thoughtful and effective human rights practitioners, and because he believes so strongly in the value of the work that he does each and every day. “
Congratulations to our Friend and Colleague John Salsberg on his Clarence Gideon Award! John Salsberg was honored with the Clarence Gideon Award. Presented from time to time by the Massachusetts Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the award recognizes champions of the noblest principle that all persons shall stand equal before the law.
As a teacher and public defender, John Salsberg has always worked tirelessly to ensure justice and due process for those accused of crime. His influence is far reaching – in addition to representing clients and his work with Suffolk Lawyers for Justice, the bar associations and the courts, he has been the Clinical Supervising Attorney for Harvard Defenders since 1985 where he has trained more than 1,000 Harvard Law School students to become thoughtful, zealous, ethical, and competent lawyers. The award is a testament to his dedication, incredible teaching and mentorship over the years.
Congratulations Class of 2014!